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There was a time, I struggled with suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, I was able to ignore them. I might be driving to meet a friend and briefly think about riding my bike through the incoming vehicle. The thought might catch me off guard, but it quickly passes through my mind and I go about my day. But other times, these thoughts used stick around. It was like a huge weight is dropped onto me, and I'm struggling to get out from underneath it. I used to suddenly get an intense urge and desire to end it all, and the thoughts can start to overwhelm me. In those moments, I was convinced I'll do anything to get out from under that weight, even it means ending my life. It was like there's a glitch in my brain that's triggered and my mind goes haywire. Even if that glitch was actually temporary, it would feel like it will last forever. With time, I've become more aware of these thoughts and found ways to manage when things get tough. It took a lot of practice, but simply being aware of the lies my brain tells me when I am suicidal helped to combat them. 1. WHEN IT FEELS IMPOSSIBLE TO FOCUS ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE PAIN, LOOK FOR A DISTRACTION - When you are suicidal, you struggle to listen to reason - you only care about relief. Your pain is intense and overwhelming, so much that it's hard to concentrate or think about anything else. Just turn to your favorite shows or movies. It brings a sense of comfort and familiarity that you need in those times. Sometimes all we can do is wait for the thoughts to pass and then regroup. Watching a show or movie is a great way to pass the time and keep ourselves safe. 2. WHEN YOU ARE CONVINCED THAT EVERYONE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU, YOU CHALLENGE THOSE THOUGHTS - There is a voice in your head that tells you how much better off your parents would be if they didn't need to support you, or if your friends didn't have to take care of you when you are at your worst. No one would have to answer the late night calls and texts or come over when you are in the midst of a breakdown - isn't that better for everyone? But the reality is, you are the only one that thinks that. Your family wouldn't recover if you died, and your loved ones know that being there for someone when things get tough is a part of life. They would rather answer those late night calls than lose you forever, even if you struggle to believe that in the moment. Challenge your thoughts about loved ones being better off without you by not only thinking through the reality, but spending time with the loved ones. 3. WHEN YOU STRUGGLE TO SEE YOUR OTHER OPTIONS, REACH OUT TO YOUR THERAPIST - Being suicidal is, in some ways, a form of total emotion exhaustion. You are tired of having to force yourself out of bed each morning. Struggling with your mental health day in and day out is very tiring, and when you reach your limit, it feels as though you are just too broken - that you need a way out. It helps to check in with your therapist, though, and be reminded of all the progress you have made so far in life. Your therapist can be anyone. A professional, a family member, a friend. Anyone. 4. WHEN YOU FEEL COMPLETELY ALONE, PUSH YOURSELF TO REACH OUT - Even if it can feel awkward or scary at first, but it's important to reach out in these moments and keep yourself safe. Sometimes you have to ignore the part of your brain that tells it isn't worth it, and pick up the phone anyway. Call a friend you trust or your parents. You may not feel like talking, just having someone on the other side of the phone can be still comforting. It reminds you that you are not alone, and that you matter to someone. When you are in a depressed state, you are not in the position to make permanent decisions, especially when there is no one there to offer perspective. After all, depression doesn't just affects you mood it affect your thoughts too. SUICIDAL IDEATION CAN BE EXTREMELY SCARY, BUT YOU ARE NEVER ALONE AND YOU ARE NEVER WITHOUT OPTIONS. NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL IT CAN BE , REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.

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